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A night to remember for Sundowns

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Shopprice South Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns became kings of South African football for the seventh time amid dramatic scenes at the Tuks Stadium last night. Liberian international Anthony Laffor scored a hat-trick on a night to remember for the Brazilians.

Here’s blow by blow of last night’s events.

0 – Khama Billiat starts with a prayer before kicking off the match with Antony Laffor.

3’ – Sundowns take the lead in the most fortunate of ways, after a clever free-kick that Keagan Dolly played to Mzikayise Mashaba on the left flank who whipped in a grass-cutting cross that was missed by three AmaTuks players. Laffor tried to control it, but it slipped forward and found its way in the back of the net. The Sundowns party has started.

5’ – Sundowns fans in the away stand light two fireworks and started singing with the confidence of league champions.

20’ – The second Sundowns goal was similar to the first one. Billiat first holds the ball, sizing up Willem Mwedihanga on the Tuks’ right flank. The Zimbabwean forward leaves Mwedihanga for dead before laying the ball into the path of Laffor who simply has to tap the ball into the net.

39′ – Sundowns wind down the clock by decreasing the tempo and knocking the ball around. They exchange close to 20 passes as Tuks chase shadows. Sundowns do it effortlessly and it’s clear who the top dogs are and who’s battling relegation.

46′ – Dolly puts in a superb cross that meets the head of defender Wayne Arendse but Coetsee dives to parry the attempt for a corner.

49′ – Midfielder Tiyani Mabunda is allowed room in the middle of the park, from about 30 yards and he unleashes a rasping shot but it sails narrowly wide eliciting eish, ah, and oh – reactions from those dressed in yellow.

56′ – Tuks create a rare chance. Lennox Bacela and Vuyisile Ntombayithethi exchange quick one-twos and Nthambayithethi gets to turn on his left but he fires over the bar. That sums up Tuks’ night.

58′ – Laffor is at it again. The Liberian adds the third goal. Laffor is the beneficiary of a brilliant move instigated by Mabunda, whose long pass finds Billiat. The speedy Zimbabwean beats his countryman Partson Jaure, cuts inside and sets up Laffor, who has the easy job of tucking the ball home..

66′ – Billiat at his brilliant best, skillfully toying with three Tuks defenders before playing in Mabuda, who returns the favour. Then Billiat falls to the ground inside the box but referee Thando Ndzandzeka ignores him.

67′ – Pitso Mosimane makes a tactical change. He withdraws Mzikayise Mashaba for right-back Siyanda Zwane. Captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele is deployed at centre-back while Thabo Nthethe goes to the middle to stabilise things.

68′ – Hlompho Kekana receives the ball in his half, the fans stand in anticipation of something special and Kekana obliges by letting rip with a trademark scorcher but Coetsee saves.

78′ – Teko Modise comes on for Kekana. School children go crazy at the sight of Sundowns’ No 10.

82′ – Laffor retires as Mogakolodi Ngele takes his place. Mosimane embraces the hat-trick hero, who was his saviour. He scored the winning goal in a 3-2 win over Ajax Cape Town in September, the day Sundowns fans called for Mosimane’s head.

90 +1′ – There was loud chants of “Pitso! Pitso!”

90+3′ – Referee Ndzandzeka blows the final whistle. Downs’ best player on the park, Billiat goes down on his knees giving thanks for Sundowns’ seventh league crown and an emotional Mosimane receives love from all as hugs are exchanged by players and staff.

Fulltime: Downs boss Patrice Motsepe rolls onto the pitch in a maroon Mercedes Benz. Motsepe, on crutches, limps around waving at the supporters.

What a night for Sundowns! – The Star

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